Growth mindset for enterprise Agile adoption

Enterprise Agile adoption goes beyond the project level adoption of Agile to address organizational wide  problems. A strategy for enterprise adoption of Agile can expose those problems, which are to be resolved by its employees (practitioners and managers). Organizations which implement Agile at the project level without solving organizational wide problem are just doing Agile. This has very limited gains to the organization. In this post  I will demonstrate why the growth mindset is needed for the organization to become Agile instead of just doing Agile.

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Treating users as players in Agile implementation

Gamification became a main stream approach for marketing as well internal operation of the enterprise. In this post I will talk on one aspect which is understanding the users and categorizing them for Agile implementation.

There have been so many discussions about Agile transformation and how it is eaten by the culture. My argument is that there is only one action we should do toward a company’s culture, which is Respect. Rather than changing the culture, we should focus on more intuitive light weight approach for Agile implementation which is above all should be Fun for the users!

The Agile mind-set changes the roles of traditional project management to become self-organized and team empowerment. For me this is the toughest change and normally takes time. What about if we treated the users (team members, Scrum Master, Business Analysts, UX, Admins and others) as  players?

Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology provides perspective for categorizing players in a gamified system which could be applied to users in Agile adoption.

Gamifiying Agile adoption means creating well designed activities to encourage desired behavior from implementing Agile. The activities should be intriguing to the users so that they are motivated to show the required behavior through implementing those activities.

How a project manager changes so that he can give-up autocratic approach to support empowering a team to sign-off for its own tasks?

The focus should be shifted into designing activities which are rewarding and enabler to the desired behavior. Driven by Bartle’s we could have project managers as:

  • Socializers: Those who primarily want to network with peers in the organization to enhance their Agile understanding and implementation. The human-interaction focus of Agile is particularly appealing to socializers.
  • Explorers: Those who want to explore independently every activity of Agile and to define their role related to each.
  • Achievers: Those who, regardless of rewards, want to prove that they master as many as Agile activity as possible and demonstrate exceptional quality in Agile project management. They want recognition as to be praised by socializers.
  • Killers: Those want objective evidence (e.g. metrics) to prove they beat their peers in implementing Agile.

Gamification activities should be designed bearing the above categories in mind.

At the heart of gamification is the player-centered design which requires careful understanding of Bartle’s categories as it makes sense in the context of Agile adoption.

Let’s respect the culture and center Agile implementation around our players for motivating the desired behavior through having fun!

4 disciplines of execution (4DX)

The 4DX is structured approach for execution to achieve organization’s strategic goals. This post describes synergy of 4DX with Agile product management.

The dilemma is that organizations are not short of ideas and strategy but they lack the capability of execution to achieve them. The 4DX uses the analogy whirlwind to describe the urgency and daily job which distract the organization from achieving its goals.

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Vulnerability theory and the product manager(owner)

The PM/PO is responsible on the project because he sets the priorities of what to be developed, comes up with deadlines, controls the budget, and in same time he is accountable on customer acceptance.

In this post I shed the light on how a vulnerable PO can be instrumental in delivering what the customer truly wants in Agile set-up.

A non vulnerable PO would avoid facing the development team without having first detailed requirements and probably documented use cases. Her strive to be perfect will preclude the project from the tremendous opportunity which can only happen if the “PO changes her mind”. Continue reading

Puzzled manager (Fear)

Why we can’t accept work from our clients?

Answer: because all people are busy.

Why all people are busy?

Answer: There are so many projects and deadlines.

Why didn’t we plan this current work?

Answer: We planned, but it didn’t work, in addition our work has lot of defects (we call this maintenance to be nice).

Is this maintenance sort of new feature?

Answer: NO, it’s failure from our side and considerable percentage of our people effort is spent addressing them.

Why you didn’t tell me about that before

Answer: none… ** Fear **

Symptoms of Fear behavior:

  1. We are always busy
  2. People are forced to do work on expense of quality. We create our own technical debt.
  3. We always change priority
  4. We don’t dare to ask our manager to give us work because of available capacity
  5. Distrust
  6. Presence of heroes
  7. We create defects

Please add other symptoms.

Are our thoughts belong to us?

Thinking is something we always do without we feel, it is like breathing, we take it for granted. We can’t be alive without breathing, but can we become better if we stop thinking?

In his book “Stop Thinking Start Living“, the late Richard Carlson described that thoughts are the origin of negative feelings which can lead to wrong actions. In his classic “The Power of Positive Thinking“, Norman Peale emphasized on positive thinking as the key driver for man’s flourish and growth. Continue reading